President and Chief Executive Officer: Please Touch Museum

Please Touch Museum (Museum or PTM) seeks a visionary, strategic, and exceptional organizational leader to serve as its next president and CEO (president).

Founded in 1976 by a Montessori educator, PTM is the only children’s museum in the sixth largest city in the nation, Philadelphia, and has been voted a USA TODAY/10 Best Readers’ Choice Top 10 children’s museum four years in a row. Located in Memorial Hall, a National Historic Landmark and one of only two remaining buildings from the Centennial Exposition in 1876, the Museum’s mission is to change a child’s life as they discover the power of learning through play.

Today, the Museum welcomes 400,000 to 500,000 visitors annually, of which 30 percent attend for free or reduced admission. With two floors of fun, the Museum features over 15 permanent exhibits for children to engage with, as well as literacy, science, and creative and performing arts programs. PTM has a staff of 80 employees and a point of pride for the Museum is that 66 percent of its staff identify as people of color and/or are members of the LGBTQ+ community. A leader in informal and early childhood learning, the Museum partners with regional colleges and universities on research studies. Noted as a standard of excellence in the field, it is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums.

The next president will join the Museum at a pivotal time. PTM is embarking on a comprehensive Interpretative Plan that will outline a strategic framework and implementation roadmap to enhance the play-based visitor experience for multigenerational learners across exhibits and programs. Earlier this year, the Museum began a $4.2 million marble floor renovation project in advance of the building’s 150th anniversary celebration in 2026. Given that the building’s celebration coincides with the 250th-anniversary celebration of American independence and the 50th anniversary of the Museum, 2026 will be a momentous year for both the Museum and Philadelphia. To commemorate this historic year, Please Touch Museum, the Mann Center for the Performing Arts and the Philadelphia Zoo are collaborating on a Children’s World’s Fair, an unforgettable, multi-generational, family-friendly experience that celebrates the promise of children as the leaders and decision-makers of the future and recognizes the Centennial District’s contribution to Philadelphia’s past, present, and future. In essence, it is an exciting time ahead.

Reporting to the board of trustees, the next president will build on the Museum’s strong foundation and momentum and lead the Museum through exciting projects, initiatives, and celebrations. They will work to secure the Museum’s position as an innovative leader in play-based learning, ensure that the Museum is an active contributor and catalyst in Philadelphia and beyond, attend to the operational and financial requirements of the Museum, and build a best-in-class development operation. Utilizing managerial expertise and emotional intelligence, they will partner with and support Museum staff, champion diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging, and accessibility, and crystalize the Museum as the third place of learning for families.

Please Touch Museum is an Equal Opportunity Employer that actively seeks and employs without regard to race, color, religion, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, pregnancy, national origin, age, veteran status, disability, citizenship, ethnicity, language, socio-economic status, family or marital status, genetic information, or other classifications identified and protected by applicable federal, state or local laws. This policy governs all aspects of employment, promotion, assignment, discharge, training, wage & salary administration, employee benefits, application of policies, and other terms and conditions of employment.

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Please Touch Museum has retained Isaacson, Miller, a leading national search firm, to assist with this recruitment. Inquiries, nominations, and applications, in the form of a CV and cover letter, should be sent in strict confidence to Jackie Mildner, Ryan Leichenauer, and Jonathan Sanchez at…